|Friday, March 14, 2003|
Seeks FBI Probe of Iraq Documents
sought over faked administration documents
WASHINGTON-- The top
Democrat on the Senate Intelligence
Committee asked the FBI on Friday to
investigate forged documents the Bush
administration used as evidence against
Saddam Hussein and his military
ambitions in Iraq.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West
Virginia said he was uneasy about a
possible campaign to deceive the public
about the status of Iraq's nuclear
An investigation should "at a minimum
help to allay any concerns" that the
government was involved in the creation of
the documents to build support for
administration policies, Rockefeller wrote
in a letter to FBI Director Robert
Secretary of State Colin Powell
has denied the U.S. government had any
hand in creating the false documents.
"It came from other sources," Powell
told a House committee Thursday. "We were
aware of this piece of evidence, and it
was provided in good faith to the
Rockefeller asked the FBI to determine
the source of the documents, the
sophistication of the forgeries, the
motivation of those responsible, why
intelligence agencies didn't recognize
them as forgeries and whether they are
part of a larger disinformation
The FBI did not immediately respond to
a request for comment.
The documents indicated that Iraq tried
to buy uranium from Niger, the West
African nation that is the third-largest
producer of mined uranium, Niger's largest
export. The documents had been provided to
U.S. officials by a third country, which
has not been identified.
A U.S. government official, who spoke
on the condition of anonymity, said it was
unclear who first created the documents.
The official said American suspicions
remain about an Iraq-Niger uranium
connection because of other,
still-credible evidence that the official
refused to specify.
In December, the State Department used
the information to support its case that
Iraq was lying about its weapons programs.
But on March 7, Mohammed ElBaradei,
head of the International Atomic Energy
Agency, told the U.N. Security Council
that the documents were forgeries.Deception
campaign by "foreign government'
Rockefeller said U.S. worries about
Iraqi nuclear weapons were not based
primarily on the documents, but "there is
a possibility that the fabrication of
these documents may be part of a larger
deception campaign aimed at manipulating
public opinion and foreign policy
At a House Appropriations subcommittee
hearing Thursday, Powell said the State
Department had not participated "any way
in any falsification."
Rep. David Obey of Wisconsin,
the committee's top Democrat, noted a
Washington Post report that said a
foreign government might have been
conducting a deception campaign to win
support for military action against Iraq.
When Obey asked Powell if he could say
which country that was, Powell replied, "I
can't with confidence."
The Niger documents marked the second
time that ElBaradei has challenged
evidence presented by the United States
meant to illustrate Iraq's nuclear weapons
program. He also rejected the U.S.
position that aluminum tubes imported by
Iraq were intended to make nuclear
ElBaradei has said his inspectors have
found no evidence that Saddam has revived
its nuclear weapons program. ©
Copyright 2003 Associated
file on this website:
G. Hornberger, The Rot at the Center of
on the origins of
probes fake papers on Iraq :
Investigation into role of foreign
cabal seeks to ensnare our country in a
series of wars that are not in
as US Congressman Moran (Virginia) says
Jews are Pushing for
(Washington Post) | Moran
"plans to resign"